As far as the eye can see, there will be a need for the International Rescue Committee. Sadly, the prospects are that repression and violence will continue to drive millions from their homes around the world. Recognizing this, my wife Bette and I support the IRC every year, and have been moved to include the IRC in our estate plans. We want to ensure that flexible funds are always available to fuel a swift response to whatever refugee crises ensue beyond our lifetime.
I encourage you to explore this powerful giving option for yourself. You may find, as we did, that you can do more than you thought possible by taking into account your full estate, not just the cash assets you have at hand today.
Through our will, Bette and I are sustaining our family's strong allegiance to the IRC, dating back 40 years.
I was motivated to join the IRC family by my mother, Mary Pillsbury Lord, who served as Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission under President Eisenhower. Her passion for humanitarian issues drew her to the IRC. I have been further inspired by the leadership of IRC champions of freedom like Leo Cherne and Carel Sternberg.
Throughout my career in foreign affairs, I have seen close-up the relief efforts of many nonprofits, and I believe the IRC is the "gold standard." I am deeply impressed by the efficiency of operations (90 cents of every dollar spent goes to programs); the ability to move quickly in emergencies; to stay until the job is done; and especially the dedication, skill and courage of our staff‚ over 90% of whom come from communities receiving IRC's help.
I have seen for myself the hope that the IRC instills in refugees: young girls who dare to get an education in Afghanistan... the "lost boys of Sudan" who survived incredible odds... displaced families that thrive when resettled in a safe land. I am especially heartened to see how the refugees who come to America strengthen our national fabric through their energy, diversity, and values.
It is gratifying to know that the funds from Bette's and my estate will be in good hands, invested wisely to provide hope for future generations of refugees.
I encourage you to consider a legacy gift to the IRC.
Winston serves as IRC Chairman Emeritus, Overseer, and Partner for Freedom. He is former United States Ambassador to China, and veteran traveler to IRC's life-saving programs.